ZANU PF Formally Expels Makoni

ZANU PF Formally Expels Makoni

HARARE - Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party has formally expelled former finance minister Simba Makoni for challenging President Robert Mugabe in next month's presidential election, party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira said on Tuesday.

Shamuyarira said the party’s decision-making politburo, which met on Monday, axed Makoni under a clause in ZANU PF’s constitution which states that a member who decides to run in elections as an independent and against the party’s chosen candidate is deemed automatically expelled from the party. Therefore any party member, Simba Makoni included, who decides to stand as a ZANU PF candidate after this due process, stands automatically expelled from the party, said Shamuyarira, adding the politburo wanted to specifically clarify to the public the issue of Makoni’s expulsion. Makoni, who was a member of the politburo, last week shook Zimbabwe’s ruling elite to the core when he announced that he would challenge Mugabe in the March 29 presidential poll to be held together with parliamentary and council elections. Makoni, who commands considerable respect across the political divide, has insisted he remained a member of ZANU PF until he was expelled after due process. But Shamuyarira said Makoni’s expulsion was automatic and a voluntary act after he chose to challenge Mugabe. Makoni was not immediately available for comment on the matter. Analysts say Makoni lacks grassroots support of his own but are quick to point out that the fact that he is said to be working with key ZANU PF leaders and former military leaders makes him a more formidable challenger to Mugabe than the divided main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party.

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